Our Hair and Nail dilemma

credit to Desenho Afro Tumbler882ec09d889ac7894a5b72cd5a993b82

Industry

Just imagine my dissatisfaction at the fact that “almost” an entire industry is geared towards making money by sacrificing our nails and hair.

I started braiding my own hair maybe fifteen years ago, prior to that I would go to personal stylists who were exceptional but costly. I started learning how to do my own braided extensions and crochet braids. It was a journey because along the way I observed so much and was so dismayed about the industry trends concerning natural hair.

Community Initiatives Needed

Many black women own salons but many are refusing to bring their salon up to standard and keep the quality on par with competitors in other communities.  Plus everyone else who own services for the black woman,  wants our money, exploits the community and do not provide any services to rival the money we spend.

Asian businesses only resell hair and products, and they sell you anything. The don’t care if it is good for our hair or not. There is no education, just stock. Another prevelant and disturbing issue is blatant disrespect for women of color by the asian business owners, and refusal to empower the community they service with employment. More recently I’ve seen these businesses are in fact hiring women of color into their businesses. Kudos to them but it seems the employment is usually as a store clerk, very rarely positions in management, financials, etc. but it’s a start.  Let’s see some improvement please.

hair-products

I would like to see a vast improvement of this is the Asian beauty salons.   100% of their staff are generally Asians and most are freshly immigrated, barely any English and loads of back talking to customers in another language. As significant as we are to business owners financially, then customer service should be radically improved as well as employment to re-circulate in our own communities.

Personal Experiences

I’ve had to cease going to one salon in Brooklyn and more recently another here in Queens, NY due to substandard conditions, poor communication, hygiene and here’s the kicker, the stylist refusal to stop drilling my nails. I saw a marked weakening of my nails and inquired,  but was told it had something to do with my nails. So I decided to do a little experiment, as I’m primed to doing whenever hogwash is thrown my way, you see? So I went maybe six months or nine without salons. I removed all nail polish, filed my own nails and did clear only. Of course my nails restored to their original strength and beauty. Foolish me, wanting to have the glitz and fancy, went back again and behold my nails started weakening again. I brought it to the owner’s attention and again they refused to stop using drills.

Dangerous Tools

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Drills increase productivity and profit. They can work faster and therefore turn over more customers and ultimately make more money bottom line. No one but the health department can enforce this madness.  I won’t get into the negative effects of the nail drying techniques using the acrylics and gel.  Consistent and long-term use of these ultraviolet light may not contradict our original intent, which is to take care of ourselves, look our best but these methods of application and drying may not be the most holistic.  I’ve attached a  link to research and educate on the dangers of the gel method and perhaps other alternatives to get beautiful nails  Potential dangers to Gel polish

But ladies just think about your nails and how much money you are pouring into having acrylics, gels and tips. Is it worth it? Try it for 30 60 days and free yourself of the financial burden of keeping your own nails beautiful – except under the surface your nails are a hot mess.

We just want to be naturally  beautiful

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Our hair is an entirely different story.  The industry has to improve overall. These businesses if they are going to operate in our community have to be vested there as well. Only you can impact on this issue ladies.  Want change and better yet empower your community more.  Start by ensuring  your local businesses are hiring local girls, banking in your community and supporting community endeavors. You will see their true colors soon enough.  We can be beautiful without compromising our natural selves, while empowering our communities,  by ensuring some basic rules are established and followed.

Crystal

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Current Events affecting the African Communities.

DIASPORA

 

First of all, I say communities because there are so many, we are a diaspora.  We come from different places, with divergent issues.  I am from the Caribbean, but I know blacks from South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, America, etc.  We each have different issues and different perspectives.  My point of view of current events affecting the African communities is within the confines of America.

MENTAL SLAVERY

We are constantly being duped into believing we are :

  1. lazy
  2. without financial hope
  3. overly religious
  4. sports oriented and not academically inclined
  5. baby mamas and pimps
  6. incapable of thinking for ourselves, in other words we need a boss

Well, we know none of this is true.  There are exceptions of course, as with any other community of people, regardless of their ethnicity.

STEREOTYPES

These stereotypes are extremely dangerous for us as a people.  We have to be aware, educated, and conscious of what’s happening in the world around us.  We have to realize that we have just the same power, imagination, brain, and capabilities just like everyone else.  DO NOT BELIEVE THE HYPE.

ORDINARY THINGS

nothing in life can be achieved unless you put something into it.  If you are working without investing then that’s all you are doing, working.  Re-think that strategy perhaps.  Start a small investment fund, a business, even if it is home-based.    These  are a few ideas you can reap the benefits of, without burdening yourself.

Whatever religious affiliation you may have, ensure they are re-investing in your community and not taking your money elsewhere.  Look at the banks with which they are aligned.  Ask questions about where they are using the funds you’ve tithed and offered.

Education doesn’t necessarily have to be in the form of a college degree.  Read, explore, discuss, investigate, ask questions and don’t be afraid to open your mind while staying grounded to yourself and your community.  Don’t lose focus.

Demand more services for your own community, guess what?  It’s your community!  The politicians and powers that be, expect you to be silent.  Surprise them and use your voice whether that be vocally or with your pen and paper, computer, etc.  Just speak up for what you want.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Don’t let social media dissaude you from being a good citizen or person. Your life matters, make a difference and change the negativity.  We live in a world of good and bad, that’s just a fact.  Once we start changing, realigning, refocusing then the imageries on social media will also change.  We have to  remember where we came from and where we are going.  Where are you going without financial stability, credible finances and a strong foundation on which to stand.  Not just for yourself, but your future selves.

NETWORKING

This is the big N word for me.  We can’t get far if we aren’t resourced up, and in order to know where we are going, we need to follow the lead of great people. Reach out without malice to the black businesses and find out where you fit in.  Most are willing to give back but are afraid of  negativity.  They have to maneuver murky, shark infested waters, just like you and I, so let’s be tolerant and supportive.  Networking can sometimes be confusing, especially to individuals who don’t get the concept, and the long term benefits.  It’s about relationship and wealth building.  It’s not just about you now, more so than it is about you later.  Not the present you, but rather the future you – your children many generations from now.  Think about that.

Continue reading “Current Events affecting the African Communities.”

Friends/family:

During our #Lental/Easter season let us without hesitation #generously #donate #resources to those who are #less-fortunate or unable to do better for themselves and/or their families. You and I may have #ample #food and I for one do not one to know or see others being hungry.

#Hunger #plagues many poor #widows, #orphans #families in the #NewYork area, and many are too #ashamed to ask for #help. Some are even #not-qualified based #income-slidingscale to receive meager assistance, and for a #man supporting his family week by week and in some cases day by day this is most #disheartening and may make him feel less than a man. Let’s help him take care of himself, his family and keep his pride intact. Hell the children get their food, school clothing and other clothing to lift their sense of worth and value. Simple things we take for granted like a pair of shoes makes a huge difference to a child, medicine and therapy is often sorely lacking. The need is great, we can make a difference,

Locate a local nonprofit or church and be specific where you would like your donation to go. Let’s make a difference today! #caribguhl

Fire on the subway MTA/LIRR

State of disgust

LIRR seats

I take the Long Island Rail Road to work mostly. I detest the putrid trains. The vagrants, the stench, the vermin, the utter sewer we pay for the privilege and honor of commuting daily.  Got on the LIRR this morning and I am thrown into a perpetual state of disgust, reminding me of the very subway trains I have tried to not use, unless I absolutely must.

What am I sitting in really????

I feel like I am about to lose my tummy. The smell is so bad in car 7367 on the 5:52 commuter from Jamaica to Atlantic that I’m sitting here wondering if I’m possibly sitting in the barf?  

Who has it worse?

Fire on MTAs tracks

When will this system ever get better?  I See people run on and off the trains at some stations, armed with brooms and shovel.  They look as disgruntled as the commuters who have to ride on the swill.  Who has it worse, the commuters or the employees?  I guess it’s equanimity but I pay to ride and I expect the trains as well as its environs to be clean, smelling decent, and not roach, rats and other vermin infested😰😰😰😰😰 UUUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!!!

NYC rats out of control
I started writing this post at 6:50 am.  It is now 6:59 pm and I’m still super irritated at the state of our mass transit system.  

Commuting back home versus commuting to work does not hold a special place for me as it should, and that disturbs me terribly.  Every experience I have, especially when I invest in it, like I do with the very expensive MTA cost, should have some level of comfort.  Bah humbug!!!!!  Why do I have to complain like a hag over something this simple?  We pay  to ride, shouldn’t they make the experience  more palatable?

Hope tomorrow brings a cleaner ride🤔. I can hope can I ?

Crystal